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iPhone 6 Plus Won 41% of Phablet Market After One Month of Sales

The last couple of months have proven that the critics were right after all: Apple simply needed to make an iPhone with a bigger screen to storm the smartphone market. New research from Kantar demonstrates just how true this is. By the end of the quarter ending in October of this year, the Cupertino company had already nabbed a whopping 41 percent of the so-called “phablet” category.

Consider that date. The device had only been around for about a month by the time the quarter ended, which points to just how quickly Apple managed to catch up with its competitors in the category. “Phablets” (a portmanteau of “phone” and “tablet”) consist of smartphones with screens measuring 5.5 inches of more, and they currently account for 10 percent of all smartphone sales in the US.

Surprisingly, Kantar’s data suggests that only 9 percent of the new iPhone 6 Plus owners are former Android users. Despite that percentage, chief competitor Samsung clearly struggled to keep up during the same quarter, as the company’s Galaxy S5 accounted for only 22 percent of sales while the older S4 only achieved around 12 percent.

But for Apple adherents, bigger most definitely seems to be better. A full 50 percent of iPhone 6 Plus buyers claimed size was their main consideration when buying the device. And 60 percent of iPhone 6 buyers reported the same. Indeed, the iPhone 6 is no slouch itself, as it accounted for 33 percent of all new iOS device sales for the quarter.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Users Shifting Away from iPads for Reading

We’ve heard a lot about how consumers love the new screen sizes for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but very little about how that love translates into practical use. The news reading app and service Pocket now has some data to remedy that, and it seems clear that the devices are changing how users are changing their reading habits on their iDevices.

Pocket’s data focuses on 2 million articles and videos that were opened after the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and the team studied how often readers with both an iPad and an iPhone used each respective device to access content saved on Pocket.

Readers who owned an iPhone 5s spent a little more time reading on their iPhones (55 percent of the time), while they used their iPads 45 percent of the time. But those numbers shift dramatically once Apple’s two new large handsets are tossed into the equation. Users with an iPhone 6 started using the device 72 percent of the time, compared to just 28 percent for the iPad.

The numbers jump even higher for the iPhone 6 Plus. Users with both devices read on their iPads with Pocket a mere 20 percent of the time, and the remaining 80 percent of the time was spent gazing at the words displayed on the screen of their gigantic phone. According to the study, video usage among iPhone 6 Plus Pocket users also shot up by 40 percent.

This is well in line with the predictions ahead of the launch of the devices, which argued that large iPhones would eat into the sales of Apple’s famed tablet. The trend may grow even sharper in the coming months, particularly as tablet sales continue to decline and still more iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units go out to consumers over the holidays.

You can pick up Pocket for free on App Store.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Morning Report: iPhone 5c on Chopping Block, iOS Search, HandBrake 0.10.0

iPhone 5c

With the extended Thanksgiving weekend upon us here in the U.S., it’s time for one final Morning Report for the month of November. Our Wednesday edition includes details on the fate of iPhone 5c, as well as Google’s coveted deal as the default iOS search engine, plus a swanky new version of HandBrake for Mac has hit the street with new encoders in tow. We’ll be back on Monday, December 1 in time for Cyber Monday — see you then!

iPhone 5c Could Be Axed from Lineup Next Year

MacRumors today reported that Apple appears likely to wind down production of the iPhone 5c by the middle of next year, putting an end to the colorful iPhone 5 variant that received a mixed reception from users and critics alike. Currently available as a budget-priced 8GB model, the report claims Apple is likely to discontinue the device in favor of an all-Touch ID lineup in 2015.

Earlier this week, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also predicted the end of the iPhone 5c next year, as well as the iPhone 4S, which would put an end to Cupertino offering devices in the smaller display size altogether.

Yahoo, Microsoft Vying for Default iOS Search Engine Spot

Since the debut of the original iPhone in 2007, Google has been the default search engine for all iOS devices — but that could change in 2015. AppleInsider reported Tuesday that Apple’s current search engine deal with Google is apparently up for renewal next year, which has both Yahoo and Microsoft salivating at the mere thought of becoming the default partner with iOS 9 and later.

According to The Information, both of Google’s rivals have been in contact with Apple SVP Eddy Cue, whose decision is “likely to be based on the quality of the product as much as the potential money made from search ads.”

Google already got kicked to the curb for Siri-based search with the release of iOS 7 last year, with Microsoft-owned Bing stepping up as the default option. iOS users can already change the default search engine for mobile Safari, which includes options for Yahoo, Bing, or DuckDuckGo.

HandBrake 0.10.0 Adds New Encoders, Filters

Although optical media may be on the decline, there’s still a large contingent of movie and TV fans who prefer to buy DVDs or Blu-rays and rip them for personal viewing on mobile devices or media servers such as Plex. Those users will be happy to learn that open source video transcoder HandBrake released version 0.10.0 this week, with “hundreds of new features, changes, and bug fixes” in tow.

In addition to updating core x264 and libav libraries, HandBrake has added support for next-generation encoders Intel QuickSync, H.265, VP8, and LibFaac, as well as a new Denoise filter and OpenCL scaler for Windows users. The release also brings parity to the user interface across all supported platforms, along with an overhaul to default audio and subtitle settings. HandBrake 0.10.0 is a free download for Mac OS X, available now from the link above.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



Morning Report: New iPhone 6 Ads, Universal Rescues Biopic, Voice Thanks

Apple Reservations commercial

In what has to be one of the quickest turnarounds in Hollywood history, the Steve Jobs biopic dumped by Sony last week has a new home at Universal, complete with a new leading man to play the iconic Apple CEO. Our Tuesday Morning Report also has the details on a pair of new iPhone 6 commercials, and an opportunity to win ,000 for you and good cause just by giving Adobe Voice a spin on your iPad. Click to read more!

Apple Debuts Pair of New iPhone 6 TV Commercials

Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake are at it again, this time in another pair of Apple television commercials for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. According to MacRumors, the fifth and sixth ads in this series focus on the gaming capabilities of the latest smartphone models, as well as iOS 8′s ability to make and receive telephone calls on a Mac.

“The A8 chip is so powerful it brings gaming to the next level. I mean if you’re into that kind of thing,” Fallon quips in the first spot entitled “Gamers,” which shows the duo squaring off with a round of online battle arena game Vainglory.

“Did you know you can use an iPhone 6 to make a call from almost any Apple device?” Fallon inquires in the second commercial entitled “Reservations,” which puts the focus on Continuity as the pair begin goofing around making calls between various devices.

Both new commercials are embedded above for your viewing pleasure, or can be viewed directly from the Apple website or the company’s official YouTube channel.

Universal Rescues Orphaned Steve Jobs Biopic from Sony

Talk about fast turnarounds: The Hollywood Reporter announced Monday evening that the biopic on the life of Steve Jobs has found a new home at Universal Pictures, less than a week after being ejected from Sony. Based on the late Apple co-founder’s official biography written by Walter Isaacson, the project has been in development for two years, and reportedly fetched upwards of million.

The article also confirmed earlier reports that Michael Fassbender is attached to the project to star as Steve Jobs, with director Danny Boyle at the helm working from a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. No start date has been announced for the production, but Boyle reportedly pushed for an early 2015 shoot to accommodate Fassbender’s schedule, which was cited as one of the reasons Sony abandoned the project.

Create with Adobe Voice, Earn Chance to Win ,000

What are you thankful for this holiday season? Adobe has launched a contest to help promote its free Adobe Voice app for iPad, with the winner receiving ,000, with a matching contribution made to a nonprofit or educational institution of your choice; entrants can also win one of 30 Visa gift cards as part of the promotion.

To enter, simply download the free Adobe Voice app for iPad and create a short video of 60 seconds or less that shows what you’re thankful for. Follow @adobevoice on Twitter and share your video using the hashtag #Voiceyourthanks between now and December 9, 2014 for your chance to win.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



iPhone 6 Pushes App Store to Record Downloads Last Month

We already know from estimates of hardware sales that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are selling spectacularly well, but new marketing research from Fiksu demonstrates that its success is apparent elsewhere, too. According to their data, sales and interest in Apple’s newest duo of handsets helped the App Store set new records for downloads last month.

In specific terms, in October the top 200 free apps were reaching record download levels of 7.8 million apps per day collectively. That represents 42 percent jump from September and an impressive 39 percent boost from last year’s numbers for the same quarter. The trend doesn’t appear to be slowing; indeed, Fiksu expects it to continue into the holiday season.

The massive leap mainly originated from new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners stuffing their new devices with their favorite apps as well as new ones specifically made for iOS 8, which introduced features such as third-party keyboards, widgets, and HealthKit-related apps for the first time. So many people redownloaded their favorite apps, in fact, that Fiksu claims that the “cost per loyal user” for developers went down at the same time, as the app creators didn’t have to spend as much on marketing in such a transitional period.

The iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 appeared around the same time, and those new releases no doubt contributed to the boost as well. But the lion’s share certainly belongs to the new iPhones, which reached sales of 10 million in their first weekend alone and are expected to reach sales of 70 million or more once the holiday season ends.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


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